The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}

This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you’ll love.

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

Okay, you asked for it. I’ve gotten so many emails and comments asking for “The Best White Cake Recipe” since I posted my The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever} a while back. Believe me, I wasn’t ignoring you.

You see, I had my Grandmother’s recipe for a Vanilla Cake and I had the recipe for my Butter Cake, so, I started working on trying to take the best of those two recipes while making the cake decidedly white and perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, and yep, even weddings, if you’d like.

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My son declared this white cake recipe as “perfect” while Bart said, “Now, that’s cake.”

Umm, from him, that’s a good thing. I think.

My brother-in-law called me to tell me that this was to be his birthday cake every single year until the year he dies. We had a good laugh at that one, but I have to remember each June to make sure not to make him another version of cake on his birthday from this point forward. That’s pressure, because the older I get, the less I seem to remember. Heh.

My white cake recipe is a sturdy recipe. Tender, yet moist and holds together well from cooling to frosting to slicing and serving. It just works.

While many white cake recipes use only egg whites, I decided (after lots and lots of trying, mind you) that I preferred the flavor that the whole egg lends to the cake. While the cake isn’t stark white, it is still white.

Make sense?

White Cake Recipe | ©addapinch.com

 

I used my Fluffy White Buttercream frosting, which I doubled, when I frosted the cake, but you can really use whatever frosting is your favorite on this cake. Strawberry Buttercream Frosting, Cream Cheese Frosting, Espresso Chocolate Buttercream Frosting? Any would be fabulous!

So, the next time you need a white cake recipe, give this one a try. I think you’ll love it!

Here’s my White Cake Recipe. My family calls it the best. Ever.

The Best White Cake Recipe {ever}

This White Cake Recipe will quickly become your favorite for so many celebrations and events. This simple white cake recipe is easy to follow and yields a moist, tender white cake you'll love.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 12
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk room temperature
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare three 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick baking spray or coated well with shortening or butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
  • Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
  • Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
  • Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
  • Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Frost cake as desired.

Notes

Some people have had problems with the cake not rising. Try creaming the butter shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Don't over beat when adding eggs and other ingredients, just mix gently until incorporated well into batter.
-This recipe makes approximately 24 cupcakes when cupcake tin is filled more than 3/4 full. When filled 1/2 full, this recipe makes approximately 36 cupcakes. Bake approximately 18 minutes.
- If you preferred the original white cake recipe, it used 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 cup buttermilk with no whole milk.
- If you live in a high altitude environment, you'll need to make sure to follow recommended baking adjustments for your altitude.
Tried this recipe?Share a photo on Instagram and tag me with @addapinch and #addapinch!

 

Here’s to good cake! Love ya bunches!
Robyn xo

I thought I would copy this comment from The Pastry Life, comment #1062 to this area of the post as it might be helpful to you.

“Hi there, I am a pastry chef and have lots of knowledge of cakes, and why they do the funny things that they do. Let me start of by saying this cake is delicious, moist and fluffy! This is thanks to the seemingly large amount of sugar and fats, so do not reduce the amounts or make substitutions! If you’re that concerned about the healthiness of this cake, you should probably just avoid it.

This cake does not rise much, but that does not negatively affect its fluffiness. I followed the directions exactly, except for one very important step which I believe is why my cake is so fluffy inside and did not sink. Cream your butter, shortening and sugar altogether until very white and fluffy (about 4 minutes). After that, follow the instructions to a T. If you overbeat after adding the eggs, they will produce a tougher cake. Take extra care while rotating pans as to not deflate the cakes, and resist the urge to open your oven door to peek except when you need to rotate.

This cake does form a bit of a crust on top from the high egg and sugar content, which makes it more difficult to tell when it is done. Your best hint is your nose. If you can smell cake, then check it! If its not jiggly, take it out and scoop a little bit out of the middle to see if it’s done (you’re gonna cover it with frosting anyway). Don’t trust the toothpick-test!

Sorry for writing a novel, I just know how hard it is to make a great white cake and this recipe is probably the best I’ve had yet, so it made me sad to see how many people were disappointed by it due to their lack of pastry knowledge and proper method.”

 

2,884 comments on “The Best White Cake Recipe {Ever}”

  1. Would it be possible to transfer this recipient into weights as I don’t know what Cups / Sticks of butter weigh so to get this in grams would be fantastic

    • Well a cup is 8oz, that makes 1 stick of butter 4oz. A cup in grams is 128g. A half 64g. Hope that helps. Use Google or any search engine for conversions in future to get speedier results. Good luck baking, hope its delish.

  2. Made this cake for my mother-in-law’s 65th birthday (unlike myself, she is a professional baker) and she loved it!

    • I’m sure that was a wonderful feeling to get praise from your mother-in-law, Michelle! I hope she has a special birthday and I’m so happy you all enjoyed the cake! It’s one of our favorites! xo

  3. Im planning to make this as a birthday cake! is it necessary to have the buttermilk? Are there any substitutes?

    • You could make a buttermilk substitute with a bit of vinegar and milk. I think there’s a sub on this website or you can google it. That said, if you’re making it for a birthday or something, a bit of real buttermilk is well worth it. I wouldn’t take the chance. I’ve made this recipe before, but never subbed anything. The only time I sub something is for a buttermilk biscuit type recipe or something similar.

  4. Hi, I was wondering if this recipe would work in one 8×3 pan? Also, does the cake itself freeze well?

    • Hi Miya,
      I don’t think the recipe will all fit in that size pan. The recipe is for three, 9 inch cake pans. You can always use the extra batter for cupcakes if you wish.
      To freeze, Wrap the completely cooled cake in freezer wrap really well and place in airtight container. Let thaw overnight in fridge and frost as directed in recipe.
      Thanks!

      • Oh, that’s a good idea about cupcakes. I have only two 9″ tins, and it’s a terribly long process to switch out one of them and finally make that last layer. I’m tempted to just go buy more tins, though. I really do think that 3rd layer is amazing. I’ve made this recipe for my son’s birthday several years ago, and I’m making it for his 14th today.

  5. I don’t have any shortening. Can I just use an extra stick of butter?

  6. This recipe is exactly what I was hoping to find in my search. I would like to make this as a sheetcake. I found a recipe for an Oreo sheet cake qusing a white cake mix and think this would be so much better. If I would have to adjust ingredient amounts to accommodate a sheet cake, that’s no problem. Thanks for your time to develop this recipe.

  7. I’m so disappointed with myself. I just baked this cake and it failed. Maybe I beat the butter, shortening and sugar too much?? That’s the only thing I spent a lot of time on…trying to make it fluffy so the cake would rise properly (as suggested in your notes). The batter was very airy when I poured it into the pans so that immediately gave me fear. After baking for 30 minutes, the center was WET…as if it hadn’t baked much at all. I let it bake an additional 12 minutes, still very wet. They’re still in the oven…at this point I know it’s going to be a failure. Do you think overbeating the butter, shortening, and sugar could have caused this? I don’t think I overbeat the flour and egg add-ins.

    • Hi Kenya,
      I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out. I have never had this situation happen. I am not sure why the cake layers would still be wet…beating butter sugar and shortening shouldn’t have caused it. I have shared some pastry chef comments in my blog post near the recipe – there might be something helpful there or in my blog post…I hope this helps. Thanks so much!

  8. Going to make this cake

  9. Hi. Can we use butter instead of shortening as shortening isn’t easily available here? How will that affect the cake?

  10. Do I add the sugar one cup at a time and then when I am done with the sugar add the eggs one at a time?

    Also, my batter was really thick, is that the consistency it is supposed to be?

  11. Have you ever added strawberries to this recipe? I’m wanting to make a strawberry cake that isn’t too moist to decorate with buttercream.

  12. Thank you for developing and sharing this recipe! Can I substitute coconut oil for the shortening? I don’t keep shortening on hand but always have coconut oil in the pantry. Would that make it a more similar texture as using shortening as opposed to using all butter?

    • Christine, I have made this cake for my family three times and used coconut oil rather than vegetable shortening each time.  I have followed online substitution guidelines and reduced the coconut oil by 25 percent of the shortening listed.  I don’t know how it compares to the original recipe, since I have never used the shortening instead.  I always need to increase baking time and it is a dense cake,  but it is delicious.

  13. Commented on the chocolate version so I’m posting here, too!
    So I feel guilty that I’ve taken so long to review this recipe because it is absolute perfection. I have been using it for a little over a year now. The cake is moist while also fluffy and rich, and the instructions are clear, which I have to commend since some websites/blogs are vague and wonder why people can’t replicate their work. I just want to say thank you so much for this recipe and for the “Best chocolate cake recipe ever” as well. Your buttercream recipes are also perfect. I bake fondant cakes for friends and family and they all come to me now instead of some of our local famous bakeries because they love that the cakes look beautiful and actually taste good inside. Thank you! 

  14. I made this cake for my best friend’s wedding, with one change to the recipe: I added 1/2 cup of almond flour. I also froze the cake after baking it and then thawed it, which made it incredibly moist. I paired it with lemon frosting and raspberry jam filling. That cake was EPIC!!!

  15. Hello; does salted versus unsalted butter make a difference ? ImThanks

  16. have anyone tried baking this in a half sheet cake pan? Also, if it works would the buttercream frosting be enough to frost the half sheet cake when done? Lastly, what would be a good baking time?

  17. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can’t wait to try it. 🙂 You mentioned in other comments that you use salted butter instead of unsalted butter. I’ve read that the amount of salt in salted butter varies by brand. Can you tell me the brand of salted butter you use for this recipe? I’m planning to make this cake for my birthday and want to make sure I get it right. Thank you again!

    • Hi Aimee,
      I use Land O’ Lakes salted butter. I’ve found that it is consistent and doesn’t include a lot of water in the butter. I hope you enjoy it!

  18. This is by far the best cake recipe I have ever used. I have been using it now for 5 years and I’m no baking expert but it has turned out every single time. Of course everyone requests I make their cakes using this recipe so I make it a few times a year. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will never use another. Unless of course you have a good recipe for chocolate cake 😉

    • I’m so thrilled to hear how much you enjoy this too, Laura! It’s such a delicious cake isn’t it?!
      And I’ve got something for your chocolate cake cravings too. 😉
      My Best Chocolate Cake Ever is moist, delicious and oh so rich with chocolate! It has a bit of a different texture than my Best White Cake, but it’s sooo good too! Perfect for those times when you want a chocolate cake! I can’t wait to hear what you think.
      Thank you so much, Laura! xo

  19. This cake is absolutely AMAZING! I love it so much… it’s my go to recipe for all birthday cakes in my house. My kids love it, guests love it, and even my husband who is not a big cake fan loves it!

    Thank you! This is truly the best white cake EVER.

  20. I really love this recipe! I used two 6inch by 4inch round pans with bake even strips and I did have to adjust the baking time to almost an hour and a half, however this is my usual baking time when using of a pan of this depth with the cooling strips. I was super careful not to open the oven too many times or to move them around too much so that they didn’t fall in the middle, which I find more of a risk with such a deep pan. The comment you included by the pastry chef which suggested cutting a small hole in the top to see the interior bake was a revelation and really helped me get that perfect bake. 

    I let the cake cool for about 15 minutes before I wrapped it up in a couple layers of saran wrap and put it in the freezer, which really locked in all of that moisture. The cake torted and stacked fantastically, while also being super light and fluffy. I wasn’t worried at all about the stability of the cake despite the cake being four layers tall. I will definitely be using this recipe in the future! Thank you!

    • I am so happy to hear how the tips helped you! I really appreciate you sharing your experience as well and so glad to know that you enjoy the cake, Meghan! Thanks so much! xo

  21. What else can be used to substitute the shortening? also if I wanted to add vanilla pudding to the cake should I cut the amount of sugar and if so how much?

    • Hi! I’ve never used vanilla pudding in this cake recipe, so I can’t answer how that would turn out for you. I’m sorry!

  22. Hi Robyn!
    I have all of the ingredients in front of me and printed out the conversion chart you generously linked in the comments section… my only remaining question is… when you personally make this cake, are you measuring by weight (grams or ounces) or by measuring cups to measure the flour and sugar? My measurements for 3 cups of sugar (when using a measuring cup is only 573 grams), and measurements for 3 cups of flour comes to 402 grams. There is such a huge difference that I wanted to be sure which method you use before I proceed. Thank you so much again!

  23. Januauary 23 is my sons birthday and I haven’t baked before and haven’t been the type that celebrates birthday, but I want to surprise him this time, can you give me a receipy on what and how to go about it. I will appreciate. Thanks

    • Hi Glory,
      How sweet that you want to surprise your son for his birthday! I know that will be so special!
      For your very first cake to bake as you mention, I would advise making my Best Chocolate Cake Ever. It is a simple cake to bake and is so delicious! It has fewer steps than the Best White Cake.
      Please read my blog post and the recipe and recipe instructions well before beginning with baking the cake. Please follow the instructions exactly for the best results. I find espresso powder with baking ingredients in my grocery store or order it online. You can also omit it if you wish and the cake will still be great.
      This cake uses two 9 inch cake pans for baking them and wire cooling racks for cooling the cakes. I have great success using the Chocolate Buttercream Frosting shown with it.
      I hope some of these tips help and that you have a fantastic birthday with your son and make many special memories! Enjoy the cake! xo

  24. Robyn,
    Because of your super quick response I was able to make this heavenly cake yesterday! It turned out beautifully! I followed your recipe and all of your notes and suggestions exactly, which helped me a lot. A note for other readers: I checked the internal temperature of the cake before pulling it out, which also eased my mind about whether it was ready to come out of the oven. (Took it out at 207 degrees F). I used your fluffy buttercream frosting, which was also a hit! Thank you again for sharing this recipe! 😊

  25. Hi Robyn!
    I really want to try making your recipe! Would it work with making it into cupcakes?

  26. Would you double this recipe to make  a half sheet cake? 

  27. Very yummy! I consider myself a fairly seasoned cake baker and I did have an oops on this- my batter was very airy. More like an angel food cake consistency than your normal basic cake. It threw me off a bit and I thought maybe I messed up somewhere. I did beat the butter and eggs and sugar until very fluffy as suggested so I’m guessing that is why. They rose beautifully, but I did have a hard time knowing when they were done. As I re read the comment from the pastry chef I see my mistake. I relied on the toothpick test and my tooth pick came out clean on all 3 cakes. But, I lost one of the cakes because it wasn’t completely done in the middle. It was close- probably only needed another 5min or so. So my cake came out 2 layer rather than 3. I wish I would’ve dug into each cake a little bit as suggested by the pastry chef before I took them out of the oven.

    My advice-don’t be alarmed by the strange consistency of the batter and really really check to make sure they are done all the way before removing them from the oven.

  28. I just wanted to thank you for developing this recipe, and several other recipes, as well. I again made this cake for my daughters birthday this year. It was Gabrielle’s Golden Sweet 16th birthday on January 16th and this is the cake she requested (..again!) I also wanted to share with you that in 5th grade, she and I baked this cake for her favorite teacher. He said it was the best cake he’s ever had. This has become our go to recipe for cake in my family. This year the cake only lasted about 24 hours in our house. (Yes to all who read this IT IS that good!) I have also made the Southern Caramel Cake, that is my oldest sons and my youngest sons favorite cake, which they request yearly. Also, I have made the World’s Best Chocolate Cake and that is the cake my mom made for me on my birthday this year, as that one is definitely my favorite. My husband is wanting to learn how to bake a cake, so I am going to teach him pretty soon here. Which cake do you think would be an easy starter cake? He is a great baker, he has just never baked a cake, and wants to learn. Again, thank you for all your wonderful recipes!
     
    PS- I am so happy to see you have a cookbook available! 

  29. Hi, I’ve made this before using the 3 x 9” pans . Came out wonderful! Delicious & just as discribed .However, I’d like to make a 12”x16” pan . Will it work just as good ? Thanks 

  30. My son wants a blue and yellow cake for his birthday. I am wondering if you can put food coloring or gel in this cake without affecting the Outcome?

  31. Could this be made as a 9 x 13 sheet cake? If so, how long do you think to bake it? Thank you!

  32. I am going to attempt this batter in a few days for cupcakes for my twins’ first birthday! Is there any reason to not add confetti candy for a funfetti batter? I’m so excited to give this a shot!

    • Hi Ashley!
      What an exciting and fun time for you!!!
      I’ve not made this particular cake recipe with funfetti candy, so I can’t say. Have you thought about topping the cake frosting with funfetti? Or mixing into the frosting itself?
      I always suggest doing a “test bake” if doing something different than the exact recipe especially for such a special event as this birthday!
      There are detailed tips in my blog post as well as a comment from a professional pastry chef who bakes my cake recipe that may be helpful to you as well.
      I hope this is a wonderful day for you all and that you enjoy the cake! Thanks! xo

      • Can you use sour cream instead of buttermilk?

      • I’ve not used sour cream in this cake, Cathy. I advise using the ingredients in the recipe for the best (and tested) results. There is a comment shared from a professional pastry chef who bakes my cake with tips that may be helpful. I hope you enjoy the cake! thanks! xo

  33. Hi there–if I want to make just one round cake using this recipe, would I just set the serving size to “4” instead of the default “12?” I asked because when I change to 4 servings, the suggested amount of ingredients i.e. only 1 cup of flour seems light.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Michelle,
      I’ve not changed the recipe in this way and really don’t recommend doing so. It’s been tested repeatedly as written and you will get the best results following the exact recipe.
      You can always freeze the extra cake layer if you don’t need it now. Just cool according to the directions, wrap well in freezer wrap, store in airtight container. When ready to use the frozen cake layer, thaw completely in the refrigerator and frost once thawed.
      Also, there is a comment from a professional pastry chef who uses my recipe that may be helpful to you, along with the blog post which describes the recipe in detail.
      Enjoy! Hope this helps! Thanks! xo

  34. How long would you bake two 6inch cakes? 

  35. This recipe has been updated since the last time I made it. I was going to cheat and use a box, but this is the cake that my son remembers, so this is the cake he’s going to get! I love that all the ingredients are so normal. lol No unsalted butter or cake flour. We use this as part of your Coconut Cake recipe.

  36. Oops. I think I used this one for a strawberry glaze type cake, not the coconut one. I just realized you have a different recipe for ‘butter cake’ with that one. Obviously I’ve not been baking enough lately!

  37. Can this be made in a bundt pan?

  38. Hello!! I am planning on making this cake tonight. I live in Texas so altitude is not an issue here, was your note about using 1/2tsp of baking powder and 1 cup of buttermilk, no whole milk only for places with high altitude? Just a little confused on which recipe to follow. 

    Thanks!
    -Steph

  39. Made this tonight!!! This cake is delicious, moist and very fluffy!!!! It’s like the best sugar cookie you’ve ever had but in cake form. Delicious!!!! Thank you so much for sharing. Will never use cake box again! 

  40. Hi, I made this cake tonight.  It looked beautiful albeit a bit over baked! Didn’t see your suggestion to not trust the toothpick test til now!   It also came out very dense, almost pound cake like!   What did I do wrong? Anyway any help would be appreciated! 

    Thanks! Cynthia 

    • Hi Cynthia,
      I’m sorry your cake was over baked. This is a somewhat dense, but very delicious cake. I can’t be sure what could have happened as I’ve not had any issues with this cake – it always turns out great. I’ve shared a detailed comment from a professional baker who uses my recipe in his business. There are also detailed instructions in my blog post. I hope some of those tips help. Thanks!

  41. Beginner question…is it possible to make multiple batches of this recipe and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use?

    • I’ve not done that, Maureen. I’m afraid it will affect how the cake turns out to do that. You can however, make your cake layers and freeze them for up to 3 months for later use. Bake the cake as directed (some very good tips shared in a comment from a pastry chef and in my detailed blog post), let it cool completely, then wrap in freezer wrap and store in airtight container. Then when ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator. Enjoy! xo

  42. I made this cake yesterday and it should have been an epic fail—I forgot to add the shortening! I must tell you that even without it I got a beautiful and delicious cake! Can’t wait to do it again and see how much better it will be when I do it correctly!

    I will say I made only two layers and it was perfectly risen. I also added some almond extract because I love the flavor.

    Thanks for this recipe and I look forward to trying more of them!

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